“No-one denied for lack of funds”

winter campfire


VILLAGE DAY Fri Nov 17 from 10a – 2p

Time:  10am – 2 pm at Sassafras
Cost: Free
Dates: Sept 29, Oct 20, Nov 17, 2017, and Jan 12, 2018

Today, many of us feel the disconnect of too much indoor and screen time, and some live far away from the support of friends or family. Village Days are a great way to spend time in nature, to unplug, to leave “stuff” and toys at home, and to get together with likeminded others of all ages. Come with your kids, interact with others, play with new friends, or strengthen existing friendships. Be outside, play a game, follow your nose, sit around fire, or bring natural materials to craft with, Village Day is a free get-together for people of all ages. Not really a program, but a collaborative experience, a space that values local community and nature. Bring a lunch, dress for the outdoors, and come on over. We need your participation to make it happen!

Village Days are a great way for families interested in the Forest Kindergarten Winter Series, to stay in touch and to get to know us better. It will allow families and individuals of all ages, to become a part of  the budding Sassafras community that fosters respect for all living things.

FOREST KINDERGARTEN Series Winter 2018shapeimage_4

Time: 9 am – 3 pm at Sassafras
Cost: $480 for 10 Fridays
Dates: Jan 19, 26, Feb 2, 9, 16, 23, Mar 2, 9, 16, 23, (and 30 snow date) 2018

Sassafras’ Forest Kindergarten Program is suitable for children ages 4 to 7. Parents and scientists alike, are beginning to recognize what our ancestors already knew; the vital importance for young children to spend time outdoors, in the wild, and to discover the world through unrestricted play and curiosity. Children’s innate curiosity for nature brings about connection, and learning naturally follows in their own unique rhythmSassafras’ nature connection mentors truly listen to their stories and help deepen experiences. Children spend the day outside, while we do have a yurt to give us a break from very cold or wet weather. Children will move their bodies, wander and explore, take on responsibilities, practice fine motor skills, do hands-on projects, tell their own stories, make up songs, and play to their hearts content. As Richard Louv’ points out, we need vitamin “N” (Nature time) to become whole and Sassafras offers unlimited nature time in a structure that can be compared with the setting of a small village. Our  excellent programming is based on the 8 Shields Model or Nature Connection Mentoring. Our collective experience over the past 20 years, has shown that children coming up thru our programs, develop healthy attributes without fail, that are so needed in today’s world like happiness, vitality, empathy, being helpful, and a deep love for all that lives, including themselves. We have 8 spaces available, and offer payment plans and scholarship options.

Try-out Policy: We accept visitors to try out for a day at FK, provided that there is genuine interest in the series, and you schedule in advance.


GIRLS in the WOODS AFTERSCHOOL Spring 2018AoM-CarlyTree

Dates:  April 6, 13. 20. 27, May 4, 25, June 1 and 8 (Overnight), 2018
Time: 3:30- 5:45pm
Cost Series: $150, with Overnight $225

Sassafras’ girl empowerment program is back and the Spring Series starts April 6, 2018!

Afterschool program on 8 Fridays for girls ages 8-12 to deepen connections with the land,  themselves and each other. Explore woods, trails, streams and coastline, delve into natural mysteries, find wild edibles and medicinals, play games that heighten your awareness, laugh with friends and express yourself.  Engage in storytelling, cooking over a fire, singing, and following your passion. Learn to take the lead and work as a team to experience the empowerment of meeting edges together with other girls, guided by women mentors. Girls can take the schoolbus to Aquinnah and will be picked up at the Aquinnah Town Hall bus stop. Parents pick up at Sassafras at the end of the program. There is an optional overnight in June till the next morning (Sat) 10am, cost for the overnight are an additional $75.

SATURDAY YOUTH Series 2017/2018

Times: 10 am – 4 pm at Sassafras 
Cost:  $360 for 10 Saturdays
Fall Dates: Sept 16, 23, 30, Oct 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov 4, 11, 18, and Dec 2, 2017

Series with SLEEPOVER on Sat Nov 18 till Sun 10am is $425 (Note this date changed)

Sassafras’ Saturday Youth program (also Squirrels & Coyotes) is an ongoing outdoor program during the school year for G1 and up. We spend the day outside, finding nature’s mysteries, honing outdoor skills, and playing games. Developing common sense and learning how to be safe in the woods is balanced with timeless exploration, play, and crafting. Some of our all time favorites are shelter building, ancient fire making, cooking over an open fire, whittling, sneaking and stalking, tracking, bird language, storytelling and of course JTC and other games. As soon as you are ready for some fantastic outdoor adventures and skills. Bring a lunch and a water bottle in a day pack, and wear clothing that will keep you warm and dry for a day outside! Ready to enroll? Go to the registration page, fill in the online reg form, and you will receive an online invoice.

FALL SERIES Fall harvest, Earth skills, and Ecosystems. 

WINTER  SERIES Carving, Fire by Friction, Cooking, Winter Adventures – starts Jan 13, 2018.

SPRING  EXPLORE Epic adventures in a different island location each week – Dates t.b.a.



Times: 10 am – 4 pm at Sassafras 
Cost: $45 Walk-in per day, $120 Overnight (24 hr experience)
Series of 4 dates: $150, with Overnight $225

Dates: Sept 16 (Harvest Time), Oct 7 (Fire & Carving), 28 (Natural Mystery Hunt), Nov 11 (Shelter), Nov 18/19 Overnight (24 hrs till Sun 10am) and Dec 2 (Cooking & Ancestor Pot Luck afterwards)

Walk in days are great for youth with busy schedules that don’t want to miss out on Sassafras’ Nature Connection experiences. Please refer to the description above under the Saturday Youth Fall Series. On both October dates, harvesting and cooking will be on the menu, November 18 has an optional 24 hr. overnight, and on Dec 2, we will be helping prep our yearly Ancestor feast that will start after program ends that day. The Ancestor Dinner is open to all families and friends (Please bring a Pot Luck dish that represent your ancestors).


Tuesday April 18, 9 am – 3 pm
Cost:  $45 for a walk-in 

Join a “classic” day at Sassafras for April Vacation, for outdoor skills, games and fun survival challenges!  You can also sign up for the entire week titled “Spring into Nature” that Sassafras is a part of. It’s organized by Felix Neck and the MVEEA, with a different location every day.

Spring into Nature Brochure w:Portuguese Translation 2017



Sassafras’ Outdoor Home School program provides naturalist’, earth and life skills training, through hands-on outdoor experiences that are balanced with reading & writing on outdoor topics. Our curriculum includes: Nature observation, sensory awareness games, tracking, crafting,  creative storytelling, research and journaling, bird language and playing music. Experience a natural way of learning, by following the seasonal changes and place-based curriculum, through quality mentoring. If you are interested, please contact Saskia Vanderhoop, per the email below.


Sassafras offers a variety of programs for schools and other organizations. In the past, we have facilitated day programs as well as overnight experiences, for the Oak Bluffs School, the Chilmark Schools, the Charter School and schools off island. With the school’s team or teacher, we create a format that includes the schools objectives and work with elementary middle and high school students. Please contact us via the email below.